Do you remember what it was like to be a carefree child?
Do you remember the days when all you used to think about was what game you were going to play that day or what yummy dish was going to be served up for dinner?
Do you remember what it was like to live your life without a worry in the world?
When we’re little we don’t seem to care how we look, what we say, how we think, what we do… we’re just living life the only way we know how… being exactly who we are.
Let’s illustrate this point…
How many little kids do you see with their finger up their nose, in public, picking their nose without a worry in the world?! That’s right, it doesn’t even cross their mind that anyone is looking, that anyone cares, or even that picking your nose is quite gross!
How many little kids do you see wearing the most self-expressed outfits… Be it a knitted multi-coloured jersey with a reindeer on it that grandma made them, or their favourite dress-up superman outfit just because they feel like it! That’s right, it doesn’t even cross their mind that the multi-coloured jersey doesn’t ‘go with’ their green khaki pants, or that wearing a superman outfit just because you feel like it isn't ‘normal’.
How many little kids do you see with ‘interesting’ haircuts because mum decided to cut their fringe herself and cut it a little bit too short. That’s right, it doesn’t even cross their mind that the haircut isn’t cool, or that mum has accidentally given them a ‘bowl cut’.
Yet as we get older we somehow start to care a lot about what other people are doing and what other people think. We start to assess how we move, what we say, how we think, and we start to filter how we live our lives, to ‘fit in’ with the norm. We start to adjust ourselves to play the part of a socially acceptable person.
Now, you might be thinking… “that’s not me, I don’t conform to the norm”. Well if you’re thinking that, then let me put it this way…
Would you be seen dead picking your nose in public, with a multi-coloured knitted reindeer jersey that grandma made you, and a bad haircut?
So what happened between childhood and now? What happened to take us from the free spirited, awesome children we were, into people that pay more attention to what we should do than what we really want to do…
It’s a virus called “I must look good-itis”.
We’re on a stage called life and we’ve decided to play a part called “Being what I think I should be to ensure I look good” instead of playing the part we were born to play… “Being the best me I can be”.
You know when I was 12 years old I had a spiral perm hairstyle and my hair was seriously boofy, looking back it was quite horrendous! You could hardly find me under all that permed hair! I had glasses and bland taste in clothing but you know what… I was happy! I didn’t know any better. Then I grew up and started to care what people thought. And now at age 34, I can confirm, I still have questionable taste in style at times… I have no idea what goes with what, how to wear clothes that match shoes, what is cool, what is not cool. I have no freaking idea! I don’t even know what’s in fashion. But here is what I’ve learnt… I don’t give a stuff anymore. I’ve decided to wear what I feel like wearing, say what I feel like saying, and I’m surrendering my concern that what I look like or sound like might not be socially acceptable or cool. I want to live the rest of my life being self-expressed and free.
If you’re with me on this one, then let’s give three cheers for saying “Stuff being what I feel like I should be and I’m going all out for being the one and only ME that there will ever be!” Opt for carefree self-expression.
Bernadette Logue (known to everyone as “B”) is the Leader of The Daily Positive, a Transformation Life Coach and the author of 3 personal growth books – guiding you on how to master your mind, to live consciously and soul-aligned. To receive regular coaching resources and support, join B in EvolveHQ, The Daily Positive’s private personal growth membership and community. To find out more about B click here.